Energy Traders Face Rocky Road, On and Off the Street

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If you're an energy trader, it's a safe bet that you're a bit worried about your job. Overall, due to tech and the big players taking over, there's fewer jobs. Plus, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is just about ready to announce position limits for physical commodity derivatives as mandated by Dodd-Frank. That, and expected regulation in the EU, is sure to shake things up.

"There's been some downsizing already, but it has yet to be very dramatic at most places," says Patrick Reames, managing director of the Americas for research and consulting firm CommodityPoint. "The scope and scale has yet to be seen." Banks and brokerage firms are certainly moving out of speculative trading, he observes, which will certainly impact energy trader jobs.

Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase recently announced staff cuts in Singapore. And, Bloomberg reports that carbon energy trading generally isn't panning out the way people thought it would.

So, what to do? Downsized traders from the brokerage or banking world can look to opportunities at utilities, airlines and energy companies.

But, the bloodletting is being felt by those outside of the banking and brokerage world, too. One example: BP may soon cut up to 10 percent of its global energy traders due to lagging profits in the sector.